Robotics has been an essential part of the oil and gas industry for several decades. It has been adopted in the construction of oil and gas facilities and for inspection and maintenance tasks. Over time, the role of robots in the industry has evolved into a diverse one, with a growing list of functionalities. This includes terrestrial crawlers, quadrupeds, aerial drones, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).

The inclusion of other digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT), along with various sensors, have improved the performance of robots for oil and gas applications.

Industry leaders, such as BP , Equinor, ExxonMobil, and Shell are now testing autonomous robots at their facilities and are aiming to scale up deployment in the near future. The industry is actively collaborating with robotics hardware and software technology vendors to achieve this objective. 

Leading oil and gas suppliers in robotics 

In the oil and gas industry, robots that are being developed for inspection, monitoring, and other applications are increasingly customised to improve efficiency and worker safety. Robots are being deployed to oversee the inspection of hazardous and difficult-to-access locations, thus preventing accidents that could cause delays. Several complex tasks, such as drilling, are being automated to reduce human error and accidents. The adoption of cleaning robots is also on the rise for tank cleaning and other applications. 

Leading adopters of oil and gas robotics solutions include Baker Hughes, BP, Chevron, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Oceaneering, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Sinopec, and TotalEnergies .  

Discover the leading robotics suppliers in oil and gas 

Using its experience in the sector, Offshore Technology has listed some of the leading companies providing products and services related to robotics. 

The information provided in the download document is drafted for oil and gas executives and technology leaders involved in oil and gas robotics solutions. 

The download contains detailed information on suppliers and their product offerings, alongside contact details to aid purchase or hiring decisions. 

Amongst the leading suppliers of oil and gas robotics solutions are ANYbiotics, Applied Impact Robotics, Cyberhawk, Nauticus Robotics and Rigarm. 

Future of robotics in oil and gas 

Oil and gas operations are labour-intensive and incorporate several repetitive tasks, some of which may involve hazardous environments and other such obstructions. Therefore, robotics is an ideal solution to many of the concerns within the oil and gas industry, as robots can undertake more strenuous tasks and complex procedures when compared to human beings. They offer higher reliability and efficiency in fulfilling assigned tasks while also improving the safety of the operation.

Adaptation into terrestrial, airborne, and submerged robots is already playing critical roles in several high-stake oil and gas projects across the value chain. Advances in robotics technology, along with increasing collaborations between oil and gas players and technology vendors, are expected to guide the future growth of robotics in the oil and gas industry. 

According to GlobalData forecasts, the robotics industry was worth $45.3bn in 2020. By 2030, it will have grown at a CAGR of 29% to $568bn. Annual growth rates will peak at 37% in 2024. Sales of industrial robots hit $14.6bn in 2020, equivalent to 32% of the total robotics market. By 2030, this segment will be worth $352bn, having grown at a CAGR of 38% from 2020 to 2030. At $30.7bn in 2020, the service robot market was larger than the industrial robotics sector, however, the industrial robots market will grow faster over the coming decade.